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Australian wireless carrier Telstra’s network was taken down by… a beer fridge

Beer Fridge [1]

Australian carrier Telstra has said that they recently found the source of a “black spot” (an outage) in their wireless network for several neighborhoods. The source is a beer fridge in a garage in a house in the area. The refrigerator was tracked by “software robots” and workers wielding special antennas.

“I’m amazed something like that could knock out part of the network,” said Craig Reynolds of Wangaratta, northeast of Melbourne, tells the Herald Sun. “You’re certainly going to stop and wonder. I’m going to run and see if my fridge is all right next time there’s a problem with the network.”

The motor in the fridge was blamed for causing the disturbance with Telstra’s engineers saying that an electric spark evidently created enough radio frequency noise “to create blackouts on the 850mHz spectrum that carries our mobile voice calls and internet data.” According to the Herald Sun.

Telstra used the Mr Yagi antennas to track the precise location of the disruption. In the past, they’ve found ATM machines and illegal signal boosters to be the culprits of service disruption. Engineers deal with hundreds of these types of cases each year.

[via Herald Sun [2]]